Major Papers


Stalin, Kim IL Sung, Korean War, Soviet Civil Administration, Korea


Despite initially denying Kim IL Sung’s requests for a military reunification in 1949, Josef Stalin decided to support an invasion of South Korea in 1950. This paper explores the origins of the Korean War and the roles of both the Soviet Civil Administration and Kim IL Sung in convincing Stalin that the invasion was necessary, and that it would be neither prolonged, nor involve American interference. Throughout the initial occupation of North Korea, Stalin preferred to maintain the status quo on the peninsula, as he was open to, but deeply suspicious of plans for reunification and restrained Kim’s ambitions. However, both the SCA and Kim manipulated Stalin and played off both his fears of a southern led invasion, and potentially losing a communist ally to China. By 1949 Stalin had already been convinced by them of the necessity for a military reunification and cautiously approved Kim’s plans.

Primary Advisor

Dr. Robert Nelson

Program Reader

Dr. Adam Pole

Degree Name

Master of Arts



Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year